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Privatization and Regulatory Reform in Airports Management Germà Bel : 

Privatization and Regulatory Reform in Airports Management Germà Bel CIPA 2006-07 Colloquium Series

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INTRODUCTION (1) Current trends in airport management (OECD): Common reforms in airport policies 1. Corporatization: Operators are firms (either government or privately owned) subject to private laws 2. De-centralization: Airport management is made on individualized bases, not as an integrated network 3. Privatization and new airport regulation pricing schemes - Privatization: Separating ownership and management - Price regulation: From a cost relatedness principle to more flexible schemes

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INTRODUCTION (2) Major drivers for airport policy reforms 1. Air traffic growth: Investments for airport capacity needed 2. Airline competition promotes: - a. Concentration of traffic in a few airports: hubs of networks carriers and operating base of low-cost carriers - b. Pressures for more efficiency in airport operations (airlines are active interest groups in the policy-making) 3. Increasing financial constraints for governments

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INTRODUCTION (3) Challenges for policy-makers in a context of constrained public budgets 1. Investments in airports where airlines concentrate traffic: Increasing congestion 2. To financially sustain smaller airports - Scale economies: Relation of traffic and profitability - Hard times for airports that can not be a hub of network carriers, or a operating base of low cost carriers

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Table 1. Main characteristics of airport management in EU-15 countries

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Table 2. Main characteristics of airport management in large (population) OECD countries

Recent large scale reforms (since early 1990s)in EU and other Anglo-Saxon countries : 

Recent large scale reforms (since early 1990s)in EU and other Anglo-Saxon countries

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Relevant country experiences Australia Federal government directly managed all airports until late 1980s. In 1988 Federal Aviation Corporation (FAC, gov. entity) was created to manage the 22 largest airport. All other airports were transferred to local governments. In 1996-2002 all large airports were privatized on individual basis by Federal Government. Long lease contracts were usually employed. Local governments are responsible for small airports. Subsidies paid by local governments. Province and Federal government might help. Early post-privatization: Regulated maximum prices. Soon after privatization was complete: Unregulated prices (Monitoring of possible abuse of market power) Drivers of reform: Obtain revenues for the Federal Treasury. Promote competition to increase efficiency in airport management Reduce and make more transparent subsidies to non profitable airports (1988 reform).

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Relevant country experiences Canada: Transport Canada (government entity) managed all airports until mid 1990s. Since 1994: Federal government retains ownership of 26 largest airports. Management leased to non-for-profit local organizations. Provinces now own appr. 70 minor airports. Management local. The 26 largest airports contribute to a fund; less profitable airports receive subsidies from this fund. Drivers of reform: Enhance ability to fund large investments in capacity without federal government subsidies. Promote efficiency in airport management Reduce and make more transparent subsidies to non profitable airports.

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INTRODUCTION (4) Policy-responses to new challenges (airport congestion, scale economies, financial requirements, efficiency improvement) 1. Corporatization, de-centralization: Concerns on efficiency (using of market mechanisms, airport competition) - To reduce deficits of smaller airports - To improve capabilities of airport operators to attract airlines 2. Privatization: Private investors might have a better access to financial resources, Private investors might introduce a more powerful structure of incentives (?) 3. Price regulation (differences according to the aims of policy-makers): e.g. : US: Historical cost recovery (either residual-cost or compensatory approach) UK: Market based system (marginal cost pricing in Heathrow London and some other large airports) Australia: Unregulated - Monitoring

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